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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
78000164

Early Poseidonia Nomos Re-Examined

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 164. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LUCANIA, Poseidonia. Circa 445 BC. AR Nomos (8.04 g, 12h). Poseidon advancing right, wielding trident overhead / Bull standing left. HN Italy -; SNG München 1060 (same obv. die). VF, toned. Very rare.


Ex Classical Numismatic Group 72 (14 June 2006), lot 115.

Originally described in CNG 72 as anepigraphic, further study has revealed that there are faint traces of a legend (...ME?) curving downward along the left side of the obverse, as well as a trace of the letter M at 12 o’clock on the reverse. Another specimen in a private collection, struck from similar dies, also shows traces of these letters. Another interesting aspect of these coins is the flan, which is more round than the typical Poseidonian pieces, and there is no indication of an incuse on the reverse, suggesting they belong to a period after 445. At the same time, there is no trace of an obverse border, which likewise suggests an issue earlier than 445. In any event, all of these characteristics and the curving obverse legend are quite dissimilar to other nomoi at Poseidonia, and are quite rare, with the Munich piece apparently being the sole published example.